My hubby’s sex drive has dipped, is it normal?

Monday, September 13th, 2021 00:00 |
Unhappy couple. Photo/Courtesy

Hi Achokis.

I have been married for 17 years. My husband and I are both in our mid-40s.

We have had a pretty good marriage, but of late I have noticed that my hubby is no longer interested in sex.

I can count the number of times he has initiated sex in the recent past. He stays up late and creeps into bed long after I’m asleep.

This is frustrating and confusing me - whereas he used to complain of not getting enough sex before, I’m now the one who is complaining.

Could it be that he is seeing someone else or no longer finds me attractive? What is happening? Please help! 


Our take

Thank you Susan for seeking help. From the way you describe your husband’s behaviour and his age, it could be possible that he’s going through midlife crisis. 

While a midlife crisis is not an official medical diagnosis, it is a common phase among middle-aged people (typically over age 45) that can cause emotional upheaval in their lives as they come to terms with ageing.

Many men measure their worth in terms of their success. So, a midlife crisis in men may be centred around their achievements, or around regret.

Midlife crisis fears

Though many men deny this stage of their life, it is real. When men are not aware and properly prepared about this stage of their lives, it can become a crisis.

Not knowing what is happening, and having not been able to talk about it, many men find themselves doing crazy things that end up jeopardising their marriages or hurting their spouses. 

Looking back, the man can get angry when he feels like a failure simply because he’s not where he thought he would be.

Looking ahead, he panics at the thought of retirement and this can be depressing to him. This affects him psychologically to the extent that he cannot perform or doesn’t perform well in bed.

Men are huge on performance and no man wants to look like a failure, especially in this area of his life. After all macho men perform, isn’t it?

What confuses many women at this stage is how the man can go randy out there, yet lack interest at home.

What they don’t realise is that their men are somehow intimidated by them as at this stage of their life, women are more aggressive and sexually confident.

Fear of failing to function at the junction, and the fact that the man is struggling with the many issues that come with this mid-life makes the man shy away from going there. 

Way forward

It is, therefore, important that you become sensitive to him in this area. However much you raise it up as a concern, make sure you are not overly critical of him, further pulling him down.

Try and see how you can broach this subject when you are around a group of couple friends that he likes and is comfortable with. Talk about it in a general way or in a story form.

You can then pick it up at a later time when you are just the two of you and are relaxed.

Hopefully, if he feels safe with you, he might open up and together you may learn something that would help your marriage. - The writers are marriage and relationship coaches [email protected]

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